Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Magnificent Meatloaf Makes Meals Easier

I think almost everyone would agree that good nutrition is the foundation for great health.  And let's be honest.. most of us could use a fine tuning when it comes to eating a healthy diet.   However, our lives are busy and there is only so much time and energy available in the day.  I like cooking, but I know that at the end of my day the last thing I want to do is to chop veggies and whip up an elaborate meal.  My solution is to pack (aka hide) as much nutritional punch into easy meals as possible, and if its ready by the time I get home.. even better!

I've adapted this recipe from one in a fantastic cookbook called "300 slow cooker favorites"  by Donna-Marie Pye and Robert Rose Inc publishing.  This is a great cookbook for those that are just starting off with the slow-cooker and one of my favorites.

Magnificent Meatloaf and more.
Serves 4-6 people.

1 lb of extra lean ground beef or bison
1 lb of ground turkey
4 green onions (chopped)
1/2 package of fresh chopped spinach (approx 150g)
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro or basil
3/4 cups of rolled or Scottish oats (or fine dry breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp (depending on taste) Chili paste
2 eggs slightly beaten
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

For an extra fiber boost add 1/2-1 cup of canned pinto or black beans.
For extra vitamins any veggie can be finely chopped and added.  My favorite is 1/2 cup of finely chopped beets.
For those that like a sweet topping or dip try an organic tomato soup instead of ketchup.

Gently grease the bottom of the slow cooker with olive oil or cover in tin foil (with edges above the rim if you'd like to be able to remove the meatloaf).

In a large bowl, combine the meats and mix well.  In a seperate bowl, combine and mix the remaining ingriedients.  Add to the meat and mix again.  Press evenly into your slow cooker cookware and tuck tinfoil ends under the lid.

Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours or High for 4-6 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the loaf reads 170F.  Serve sprinkled with more cheese, cilantro or tomato soup. 

This dish is tasty as is but is also perfect for hiding extra veggies and fiber.  Adding extra fennel, chili paste or Parmesan tailors the flavor to your family's preferences.  Pair it with baked sweet potato, or roast veggies and you have a great and easy meal.

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